What’s in your heart? Jonah had a cramped heart. He had no love for what God loved. In the belly of the fish, Jonah was narrowed and looked to the presence of God and he was set free. The prophet had something in him, faith in his belly. (Romans 5:17-19; Jeremiah 3:1-10; 2 Corinthians 6:11-12)

Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller

Sermon 12390
11:00 AM on 10/16/2022


P. Steve Andrulonis –

Just a quick word before we have the offering. Just thinking about – I heard the 9:00 message and
talking about a man that we know. And when I think about the love of God, I think about Jonah
because we know that Jonah wasn’t so obedient. Right? Can we agree about that? Was Jonah
very obedient? He had a call from God. He was a prophet of God. He was told to do something
and he didn’t do it. And he became a missionary on two fronts. He became a witness.

He became a witness on the boat he was on and then he also became a witness when he was
spat up. “Spat up.” That’s just vomited. That kind of thing. Can we say that? It’s not too close to
lunchtime. We’ll say that. That really happened. Why do I say that really happened? Because
Jesus told me it did. I mean that’s the only thing I got. Why do you believe in the great fish and
Jonah? Because Jesus did. And I believe in Jesus. That’s the amazing thing.

When I read through John, the gospel of John, and I read this place in chapter 15, I see
something. Jonah was in the belly of the fish but he also abided in something else. It says
something here about abiding in God, abiding in Christ, abiding in his Word, and abiding in his
love. The love of God toward us is something that is incomprehensible. And I think when we
think about just how great is the love of God and how he communicated it to the world, it’s like
the breadth and the depth of his love is incomprehensible to us. We can’t understand because
we are human and we’re limited and we have a hard time. We have a very impossible time
sharing the love of God the way that God commands us to share it.

He says here something very simple. He just says abide which is a word. Do you do that? Do you
use that word regularly? Do you tell people to abide, like your kids? I’m going out to the store.
Abide until I come back. I don’t think you use that word, but it’s a very important word in our
Bibles. It means to rest in place, to rest in the position that we have. Because we are loved by
God, we rest in a position that we can receive from him.

He says you are clean. I’m just paraphrasing some of the things in John 15. You can read it. But
it says that you were already clean through the Word that I have spoken to you. He spoke
words of love to us that made us clean. He spoke them to the disciples and they shared them
with us. And now we have he spoke them to the prophets, to David, to kings, to these people in
the Old Testament and the New Testament. These people got the words that made them clean.
Because we listen to them, we are clean.

Then he says abide in me. Rest in me because I abide in you. That’s amazing. Later in the same
chapter he said, “as the Father has loved me, I have loved you. Abide in my love.” Abide in my
love. There’s a simple way you can abide in my love. That’s keep my commandments. Oh, did
he have to say that? It’s very simple. I’m telling you it’s very simple.

The commandments of God are summed up in Psalm 23. Why do I say that? The first
commandant is what? Love the Lord. Don’t have any gods before him, right? Actually, in one
place in Deuteronomy it says, hear O Israel. Hear. That’s the first commandment. And what are
you supposed to hear? That you are to love no god before him. If you love no god before him,
what’s commandment #10? Quiz. Commandment #10 is what? You shall not covet anything of
your neighbors. Wife. Lawn mower. Any of that kind of stuff. What’s really valuable today? A
can of gasoline. That’s really valuable today. You can’t covet any of that if your neighbor has it.
But when you go to Psalm 23, you see the secret.

If the Lord is my shepherd, then I shall not covet. Wow! I just solved the whole commandment issue right there for you. Have the Lord as your shepherd. No god before him. And then you shall not want. There you go. How’s that?
Why? Cause all we have to do is rest in his love. Abide in the love. It’s not a love that came
through humanity. It’s a love that existed between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit before
time began. It’s like before there ever was anything. They always have been, always will be and
always are. There we are. I got all the verb tenses: past, present and future. That’s the great

The love that Jesus Christ gives to us is not something that came with him in the manger. It was
with him in eternity past when he thought of all of us and he has loved us from the beginning.
He loved us all the way through the end and beyond. Because for us, this life is just a moment
in the morning of a great day that he has baptized us into. So, let’s just believe that and think
about that.

And now I hope that stimulates you to give in love. We love your offerings. No matter how big
or how small, the offerings are amazing. God loves them. If you are giving two mites, that’s
amazing. If you are giving two million, that’s amazing, too. Yes. Do it privately. We don’t want
to know who you are. Just give because the Lord loves you. (Prayer).

P. Schaller –

Let’s read the Scripture together. How many of you have ever been physically
healed by God? God has healed you physically. Just raise your hand. Yes, wow, great. How
many would like to be healed by God? Raise your hand. Alright. We believe that. Yes, we
believe that could happen.

Romans 5:17-19, would you like to read this out loud with me? Yes, let’s do it. Are you righteous?
Yes. How did it happen? By one man’s obedience. Alright. You may be seated. Yeah, by one
man’s obedience we have been made righteous. This is imputed righteousness legally given to
you and I that we are saved and righteous before God. In practice, we are not perfect,
righteous. The meaning of righteous is this 100% righteousness. By the obedience of Christ,
right? By one. The obedience of Christ. Was Christ obedient? Yes, he was righteous, 100%. Are
you? No, in practice in my life, no.

But this is imputed this righteousness is. Obedience imputed to us so that we are declared by
God to be righteous in the mind of God. He made a decision in his mind that you and I are as
righteous as Christ. That is a great gift. It’s called an unspeakable gift. It’s a gift. Meaning you do
not pay for it before the gift or after the gift. You do not pay for this gift of righteousness.
Therefore, we are thankful. We are worshippers. We are appreciating the gift. We are secure.
Very important word. Secure in God. He is my friend, my father, my Savior. I will never leave
you, never forsake you. He wants you to know that his love is everlasting, Jeremiah 31:3. Jeremiah 6:3.
Would you turn there with me? I’m sorry 3:1. I said 6:3. It’s 3:1. I don’t know how that
happened. Chapter 3:1.

The woman has been with another man. Will I take her back again? But then he says regarding
Israel, you have played the harlot with many lovers. You have many men. Vs. 1. What? Return
again to me saith the Lord. You have many lovers, but return to me again saith the Lord. How
could God say this? Because he loves Israel with an everlasting love. He has played the harlots.
She has had many lovers. She’s been with many men. It’s a figurative way of saying. We know it
as people what adultery is and what breaking trust is and what betrayal is. What lust is. How it
can break up people and families, and yet God says yet return again to me. Why? Because his
love is an everlasting love.

For us, we are believers who realize – look up at the screen – the only one that was obedient
was Christ. And it’s his obedience that is imputed to you. It is given to you as a gift. That is
yours. That is mine. How did we get it? By one moment in time believing. Meaning here is your
life, your history. At one point in time, you believed so that was enough. Romans 3 we read this. 1
Corinthians 15:1-3, you are justified by faith. Romans 1:17, very important. Our salvation and
understanding salvation, very important to know the nature and character of God. This is
incredible. You might say but P. Schaller, if you teach that we can go out and sin. Yeah, you can do that. I
mean it’s not a picnic. Haven’t you done it already?

Haven’t you been empty, lonely? Haven’t you had a broken heart? Have you ever been addicted to anything that destroys your body and your mind and your soul? Yeah, that way, the way of the sinner, the transgressor is hard. But
the way of love, the way of faith, the way of the Spirit is much better.
I read a verse. It’s Proverbs 15:19 I believe. Let me think. I think it is. It says, it says the way of the
transgressor is like a swamp. I don’t remember the word. okay. We’ve got to turn there. What
is it? Is it up there? Is it? okay. There it is. Okay. Got it. The way of the slothful man is a hedge of
thorns. This is the verse. It’s a hedge of thorns. But the way of the righteous is made plain.
There is another translation. The way of the righteous is a highway. The way of the righteous is
a highway.

I was thinking about 95 is a highway. No stop signs. No traffic lights. It’s a straight shot all the
way up to Canada. All the way down to Florida. It’s a highway. But if you get off the highway
and these little back roads, it's a different life, a different way to travel. The Spirit of God wants
you and I to live not a life that is hedged with thorns, but he wants us to find love, the character
of God. We’ll look at this. Character of God. And we’ll put here the word, love and truth. Okay.
Let’s go to our text. We have Jonah, the prophet Jonah, and chapter 2:1.

He was swallowed by a great fish. Actually, it happened recently up in Cape Cod. A scuba diver got – he got into the
mouth of a whale and the whale spit him out and he got banged up. The scuba diver survived.
But in this case here, the fish swallowed Jonah and he’s alive in the fishes’ belly. It has
happened before by the way. You can read about it. It’s not impossible that a man would live in
the fish. He can live and it happened here.

There’s a story about a man who lived one day in a fish. The fish was caught. They had no idea,
but as they opened up the fish, the man was there and alive. So, it can happen. Here it
happened with this prophet who ran away from God.
Do you run away from God? Have you ever run away from God? Could you ran away from God?
Turn to your neighbor and just answer that. Answer the question by talking. Make your
confession. Yes, yes! Yes! Why is he talking about that? Yes!

We’re going to go to this chapter in Jonah and read more, but I want to show you something
about being in a tight place, being in a narrow place, being cramped in life. This is 2 Corinthians 6:11.
Corinthians were the church people that lived in Corinth. Paul had lived there 18 months and
discipled them. The Spirit said to Paul when he went there in Acts 18, stay in this city. I have
many people in this city. Paul stayed as a missionary, church planter, and he lived there with
them teaching them and disciplining them. They were also known for their carnality as
Christians. Kind of on the surface. Pagans that got converted. The conversion was real, but they
also struggled with their jealousy, envy and party spirits. They said I am of Apollos. I am of Paul.
I am of Cephas. I am of Christ. They had a carnal mind about life and I want to show you what

Vs. 11. That means we are teaching you. We are talking. Our mouth is open. Meaning we are
talking. We are teaching. He wrote two epistles that made it into the Scriptures but he also
wrote another letter that did not enter the Scriptures that is lost and not Scripture. He was
sorry he wrote it. Later he said I’m sorry. I repented that I wrote it but then I didn’t repent
because it made you sorry in a good way. It made you sorry and it helped you be corrected.
He said in vs. 11, our heart is enlarged. From that verse I want to say the very fundamental
message today is your heart enlarged to include other people? Is it enlarged to include God? Is
your heart enlarged to include the church? Is your heart enlarged to include love?

Or is your heart shrinking like a raisin or prune, a dried fruit, shrinking and shriveling to include only your
family or include only your dog? Or include only your home town or only your own society of
friends? Paul said to the Corinthians, my mouth is open to teach you so your heart is to be
enlarged. Okay. Good thought.

How many people fit in your life? They might get eliminated. I’m not talking to him anymore.
I’m not talking to her. I’m not going there. I’m not ever going to do that again. Some of those
things maybe be wise but be careful because when Jonah was in the fish, that narrow place that
he was in could also have included God. I’m in a narrow place. Even God isn’t here. I’m in so
much trouble, even God cannot save me. Okay.

Look at the next verse, vs. 12. The word is cramped. Narrow like the narrows in oceanography
or whatever that’s called when they make the maps. Narrows. Where the water is. Narrow
between two bodies of land. Straightened in us. You could hear what we are saying and you
could say, oh, it’s too narrow. It’s too narrow. You believe in doctrine or dogma. It’s too narrow
for me. It’s too narrow.

Here’s the paradox. When truth comes to you it actually leads you into something big. Truth
sets you free. The gate may be narrow but once you get in through the gate, three’s a wide – it
says in the Psalms, God has set my feet in a large place. If you ask Christ what is your kingdom
like? He would say I have all power in heaven and earth. I was in a narrow place on the cross.
Right here on the wall over here. Narrow. But my heart was large to believe and trust in my

So, Corinthians need to learn something. Vs. 12. Meaning we haven’t oppressed you or
cramped you but you are cramped but in your own emotions. The word “bowels” is for the
inner part of your belly, your gut. It’s the ancient word, the word they use for emotion. Like
kidneys. What’s another word? Your intestines. Your bowels. It’s for the feeling and emotion.
The lower nature of man is the bowels. This is where they are living in their sorrow and their
pain and their wounds. They were cramped by it. They were narrowed by it.
So, we are going to teach from Jonah 2 how to deal with this because we want you to leave
today understanding that the trouble you have in life does make us feel like how do I live now?
How do I live with this stuff that happens in my life?

Let’s draw a little picture here of a guy and here’s his wife. Okay. There’s his wife. You can call
her Lucy! Here is the stuff of life around her and him and here’s the way. He has maybe some
children and bills and he has a job. He has different things that happen. Like we are using Jonah
to say that I, my heart, my heart is not enlarged. Actually, there is anger, frustration, fear. I have
a lot of feeling in my life and I feel the pressure. Paul had it in 2 Corinthians 6. There’s a good list there
of words. I’ll read them to you. We have honor and dishonor. Vs. 8. They’re couplets. Evil report and good report. People say we are deceivers and yet true. We are unknown like nobody knows
us but we are well known by certain people. This is in vs. 8-9. It’s chastened but not killed. As
sorrowful, yet always rejoicing in vs. 10.

What do the couplets mean? He’s saying we have trouble but we have God. We are sorrowful a
lot. Very sad. We are in trouble. We have no home. We are rejected by people but God knows
us. It’s like a good picture of a life that is being lived and he’s including – watch. He has God and
this is where you and I want to live is that in our world here like in the whale or in the fish, we
want God with us in it. This is where Jonah, this is his prayer in chapter 2 of Jonah. So that’s
what we want to say today and hopefully you follow it with me in your life, in your heart. It’s a
message you can carry the rest of your life and say I know my heart could get small. I could
exclude people and get angry and become a bitter man.

Many times, when I talk to people that work in nursing homes, they say old people are usually
one of two kinds. They are either old and grumpy and bitter about life or they are sweet and
thankful for what they have. Time has an effect on us. If my heart is not enlarged to include
God, then I have a good chance of becoming very narrow. That narrowness that I feel, I get
straightened or narrowed in my own bowels or my own life where it’s not fair what is
happening to me. It shouldn’t have happened to me. It’s not right what happened to me. It
ruined my life.

Let me teach a very important lesson. Never forget it. I’m going to ask you to remember. It goes
like this. I told the high school. You’re driving down the highway one night. A drunken driver
plows into you and you lose your leg in the accident. The driver goes to prison. I lost my leg. So,
I’m a teenager and I lost my leg in an accident. So, how am I going to think about it? There’s one
way you could say that man in prison who ran into me he ruined my life. I lost my leg. My heart
gets small. It doesn’t include him. I hate him. He ruined my life. No, he didn’t. You cannot give
that man the kind of authority that you are giving him. You cannot give him the authority. He
doesn’t have the authority to ruin your life. That man cannot ruin your life. You can ruin your

What’s wrong with that picture? It’s this one. The world I live in – I can draw another color here
– this one, the red one is the one that people live in. They say you ruined my life. I can’t say
that. That’s not from God. That’s not from God. Who took away my leg? God did. God took
away my leg. This could not have happened without God. Why did he take away my leg? I do
not know. But I’m going to include God in my life, right? How about this color? I want God in my

So, now how do I say it? I say, God, that accident happened and I lost a leg and apparently you
want me to live my life with one leg and I’ll go to therapy and I’ll live the best I can. I believe in
you. Cause I know your character. I know your nature. And by the way, God, I forgive that man for what he did. He must feel very bad about it. Maybe he does or maybe he doesn’t. I don’t
know. But maybe I could go minister to him and say, listen, I forgive you. This is about God. God
loves you. God sent me here to tell you that God loves you. That God is a living God and God
cares about you.

What happens? My world is enlarged. The same grace I receive is the same grace I give out. My
world is bigger than me and my bowels, my feeling, my wound, my pain, my life is bigger. We
have God in our lives. Isn’t that amazing? It’s true. It is. This is a challenge for us. I’m not saying
it’s like automatic. I’m not saying there is anything mechanical about it. I’m saying that we
could seek God and walk by faith in God and God will show up. If we understand that God is
loving me in this short lifetime that I have and he wants to teach me so that my heart is
enlarged and I’m not straightened or cramped by my own life. My own feelings about things.
Okay. So go to Jonah. We’ll read it how it happened with him here in chapter 2:2. What is that?
Out of the belly of hell. Have you ever lived there? We haven’t gone to hell. Psalm 139, but if
you make your bed in hell, some kind of hell in this life, God is there and his right hand will lead
you. He is the good shepherd. He will lead you.

Vs. 3. Turn to your neighbor and say, who could destroy your life? Who could destroy your life?
Answer? Answer? Nobody. Nobody can. Pharaoh cannot. Herod cannot. Nobody can. That’s
my, it’s God has given us life, eternal life. Ask Jesus. Say Jesus, who could destroy you? He
would say I’m on this cross willingly. I am submitted to the Roman authorities. They put me
here but this is the plan of God.

My heart is bigger than their hatred. They say now we got him. We will nail him to the cross.
We hate him. We will destroy him. Christ is up there saying forgive them. They don’t know what
they do. My life is bigger than them. I will be raised from the dead in three days like Jonah was
in the fish for three days. So I will be in hell, in the tomb, in the grave for three days. I will rise
for my Father sent me. I am fulfilling his will.

Read vs. 4. You cannot stop me from looking at the temple. I’m in the sea. I’m in a fish. I don’t
even know what direction the temple is. Where is Jerusalem? I have no idea if it’s up or down
or right or left or east or west. I don’t know where the temple is but I will look at the temple. I
will look at the God of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will trust in him.
Vs. 5. Seaweed wrapped around the head. Imagine. Is he in a tight place? The woman you
married, the man you married. The children you have, the neighborhood you live in, the job you
have, the people around you. Whatever it might be. The addictions you have. The fears you
have. Whatever it might be, it’s all wrapped around you. It’s called cramped quarters. I wish I
didn’t have this. But Jonah said in it, I will look to the temple. I have something from God in my
heart. I have faith in God. I have faith in God. That’s what I have. In his mind and heart.

That’s what we have to include him. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. God is speaking to
this man who is in a lot of trouble.
Vs. 6. He could feel the victory already. Even in the whale, in the bottom of the sea, he could
feel the upward pull. He could feel the presence of God. He could sense the victory that he had
in God. Even when he was very low, the Spirit of God was ministering to him and delivered him
from corruption.

Vs. 6-7. But you’re in a fish. Yeah, but my prayer went into the temple. But you’re in a fish.
Yeah, but my prayer touched. God. Yeah, but you’re in a divorce case or your second divorce.
You’re in trouble in your life but my prayer, my prayer entered into the heaven. My prayer went
to God. I have God in my life. I have the Spirit of God in my life. I have the anointing of God in
my heart. I have the Spirit of God in my trouble.

Listen to this. He’s in the belly of the fish but what is in Jonah’s belly. There’s two bellies.
There’s the belly of the fish and then there’s Jonah’s belly. What is that? What is in my belly? I
got fire in my belly. I got the word in my belly. I got the Spirit of God in my belly. I got the mind
of Christ in my belly. I got the Bible in my belly. I got the Body, the fellowship of God, the
Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that dwells in our hearts. So, I’m in trouble in a prison,
nursing home, hospital. I’m in trouble. My body is falling apart. As our body is falling apart, it is
says the outer man is perishing but the inward man is renewed day by day. We have something
going on in our spirit and in our heart that comes from God in the midst of life.

Do not remove who you are in God from your life because of your trouble. Don’t quit. Don’t say
I’m done. No, you got to get closer to God than ever before. You got to say I need him more
than ever. I need God. You know like I lost my leg. He ruined my life. I lost my money. I don’t
have anything. I lost my relationship, my son or my daughter. They never call me. I have no
birthday card from any relative. I got bitterness growing up in my heart. I am beat up in life. I
am really beat up in life. What should I do? And the answer to you and everyone is the same
story for Jonah. Don’t give up. When you’re down deep, turn. Remember the temple. The God
of the temple and your prayer enters in.

Look at what it says, vs. 8. Observe. Important word. Lying vanities. Vanities is another word for
idolatry, lies. Vanities. Empty lies. Things that have no profit. No value. They are lies. They do
not deliver. They do not live. They are frozen, static ideas that cannot deliver us. We that
observe them, follow them believe them forsake our own mercy. We forsake our own mercy.
Let’s read it. vs. 8. Is there mercy for a one-legged man? There is mercy for a one-legged man.
Can that man live a life like Jacob? Remember he wrestled with God and he came away lame.
But his life was so big and rich. Though he lost some ability physically, he gained something
spiritually. For God said you have power with God and men.

And when he prayed cause Esau was going to kill him, Genesis 27:41, Esau said when my father
Isaac dies, I’m going to kill my brother Jacob. I’m going to kill him, and Jacob knew it. He was
afraid of Esau. He was afraid of Esau. Esau will kill me. He knew it. I stole his birthright. He will
kill me. I know that guy. He will kill me. I know it for sure. So, he prayed and the Lord said you
got power with God and men. He’s not going to kill you. I’m going to protect you.

What is the value of including God in your life? The value is astronomical. Above and beyond
we can ever imagine. Don’t forsake your own mercies but observe truth not lying vanities. Not
ideas that just kind of bubble up in your own mind. Learn to get a word from God, from the
Bible. Learn to read your Bible. Learn to listen to messages. Learn to live by Body life. Have
friends in the church. Draw near. Have a good rap session. Have a good conversation with
somebody for three minutes or seven minutes or ten minutes. Learn how to hear and listen and
be Spirit filled people.

When we are Spirit filled people, we edify each other. We grow in our faith. We may be one
legged but we have a bigger heart than ever. Our lives are enlarged. We are not in a narrow
Look at the rest of it. Vs. 9. That was already settled when he was in the fish. Basically, it means
times up. Job’s done. You were in cramped quarters but it’s over now. It ended. The fish is
going to spit you out and he gets up on the beach as a prophet and goes to do his job. There
was a lot of work to be done in that prophet. We read that in Jonah 4. But the lesson is clear.
And it is that your suffering may not go your whole life. I do not know about that. I don’t know
how it works but I do know this that sometimes when we turn to God and include him in life
and build on him, he can change things. I know that he can answer prayer. I know that he can
change situations.

And I want to encourage you in your families and in your lives. I want to encourage you with a
lot of hope and encouragement, and say to you our God is a living God. Our God cares about us
in our details, our daily food, our friendships and relationships, our vision and our mission. That
he’s a living God and he answers prayer. Don’t give up. Draw near. He will draw near to you. He
will hear us and answer us. Amen.


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.